Invitation-Only BETA Program Launches
ooma Inc. announces an innovative consumer technology dedicated to transforming home telephony from being service-oriented to device-oriented and delivers a new way of calling that brings significant long distance cost savings to consumers. The ooma system provides a better phone experience, by enabling unlimited U.S. domestic calls via a broadband connection to any wireless or wireline phone number. A nationwide invitation-only White Rabbit BETA program also begins today and general availability of the ooma device is scheduled for the fall of 2007.
Since founding the company in 2005, ooma CEO Andrew Frame has been developing the ooma hardware and software with a team of engineers experienced in embedded system development, VoIP, carrier operations, hardware engineering, high volume consumer devices, Linux and operations support systems.
The concept for ooma originated from Frame’s passion for bringing innovation to home telephony. “I believe that consumers should have a better phone experience, one that combines convenience, innovation and cost savings,” said Frame. “Just as consumers transformed the functionality of their television through TiVo and their music with the iPod, we expect that they will reinvent the way they use their home phone with an ooma system.”
Patrick Monaghan, a senior analyst for Yankee Group, agrees with Frame that consumers are demanding more from their residential phone experience. “ooma is tapping into a category that is starving for a new solution,” he said. “It is refreshing to see a product as innovative as ooma in this space — offering a unique approach to making long-distance calls from existing phones, via a peer-to-peer solution.”
The ooma Experience
An ooma system in your home includes the ooma Hub connected to your broadband connection and your primary phone, and an ooma Scout for each additional active phone extension you use in your house. For example, if customers use three active phone extensions with current landline phone service, ooma recommends one ooma Hub, and two additional ooma Scouts.
Each system comes with a suite of innovative features including:
- Instant Second Line — gives users access to a second line in their home, with no installation or new phones
- Broadband Answering Machine — combines the power of voicemail with the convenience of the Internet and ease-of-use of a traditional answering machine
- ooma Dial Tone — delivers unique tonality through an audio interface, creating a new dial tone
- ooma Lounge — provides consumers with the ability to manage their voice mail and call settings online
Reinventing Home Telephone Service
In creating ooma, Frame pooled the knowledge of several leading entrepreneurs — including TiVo co-founder Mike Ramsay and Napster co-founder Sean Parker — with extensive experience in deploying disruptive consumer technologies. “ooma is poised to change the telecommunications category, in much the same way that TiVo changed the landscape of broadcast television,” said Ramsay, who is also an ooma Board member. “The ooma device gives consumers a better way to connect to each other with ease of use and lower cost while, at the same time, providing a platform to receive future services delivered directly from ooma.”
Parker, also an ooma board member, adds, “ooma may be the world’s first viral hardware product. Through innovations like the ooma viral tone, ooma combines the self propagating nature of Web-based social networking with the freedom of owning your own phone system. We refer to this new paradigm as ‘owning your dial tone’, and it is something that everyone who has a home phone can relate to and desire.”
Follow the White Rabbit
In conjunction with the announcement of the ooma system, the company has initiated an invitation-only BETA program referred to as the White Rabbit program. Each recipient, or White Rabbit, receives a complete ooma system for his or her home, inclusive of the platform devices; an ooma Hub for his or her central phone line; and an ooma Scout for each additional active phone extension.
Every White Rabbit, in addition to receiving a complete ooma system, is provided with three ooma “pass along chips” to send to friends. The “pass along chips” prompt the recipient to go to http://go.ooma.com to enter the code on the chip and register to receive a free ooma system.
Board of Directors and Management Team
ooma has secured $27 million in venture funding from, among others, Draper Fisher Jurvetson, The Founder’s Fund, Worldview Partners, Draper-Richards and WI Harper in a series A and B round.
The ooma board of directors includes:
- Andrew Frame, formerly of Cisco
- Keith Krach, Co-Founder, Former Chairman and CEO of Ariba
- Warren Packard, Managing Director of Draper Fisher Jurvetson
- Sean Parker, Chairman, Philotic, Inc. (Project Agape) and Managing Partner, The Founders Fund
- Mike Ramsay, Co-Founder, Former Chairman and CEO, TiVo Inc
- Tim Weingarten, General Partner of Worldview Technology Partners
The ooma management team includes:
- Andrew Frame, formerly of Cisco
- Tom Cronan, CFO, formerly of Redback Networks
- Tish Whitcraft, VP of Customer Operations, formerly of Yahoo!
- Toby Farrand, VP of Engineering and Operations, formerly of Apple
- Sarah Ross, VP of Communications, formerly of Yahoo!
- Dennis Peng, Director of Product Management, formerly of Cicso
- Ashton Kutcher, Creative Director, currently Co-Founder of Katalyst Films
Founded in 2005 by Andrew Frame, ooma is a company dedicated to reinventing home telephone service. The ooma system uses a new technology that transforms telecom services from being service-oriented to device-oriented. The company has numerous patents pending and is currently in an invitation-only BETA program referred to as the White Rabbit initiative. ooma (http://www.ooma.com) is privately held and headquartered in Palo Alto, California.
Details and restrictions on the ooma product and unlimited U.S. domestic calling will be available at the time that the product becomes generally available to consumers. ooma reserves the right to change or modify its offering including limiting the unlimited U.S. domestic calling to an initial set of customers.